I’ve wanted a signature scent since I was old enough to convince my mom to buy me glitter-filled perfumes from Claire’s. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve graduated to more sophisticated, less sparkly fragrances, but I still love the idea of being immediately identifiable by an amazing smell. After the perfume that I’d been wearing since college was tragically discontinued (there may have been tears), it took a while to find a replacement. I gravitate toward clean, floral scents, so I scoured the shelves of Sephora, going through bottles of Elizabeth and James Nirvana White or Fresh Citron de Vigne, but I still didn’t like anything enough to actually purchase a second bottle. It wasn’t until I unwrapped a bottle of Diptyque Do Son last Hanukkah that I found my new go-to—it’s sweet in a sophisticated way, and it’s what I imagine it smells like to sit inside a very fancy flower shop.
So it was with reluctance that, at the request of the Glamour beauty team, I swapped my Do Son for something totally different. We settled on the heavy, earthy, and slightly tangy Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme. Sure, they share notes of blackberry, but otherwise these two are polar opposites. I agreed to give it a week. On the first day, I picked up the sleek Guilty bottle and sprayed it on my wrists while looking longingly at my trusty Do Son. As I went through the motions of my day, I kept being surprised by my own musky smell. I constantly had to remind myself that those woody notes were coming from me, and no, my sweater didn’t smell like a stranger because someone at the dry cleaner secretly wore it.
Here’s the thing about a signature perfume: When you wear yours enough, it becomes almost a part of you, and you don’t really notice it anymore. So I was hyperaware of this new eau d’Alanna, and it became kind of…exciting. Sporting a new scent was like trying out a new persona: Maybe I was sexy and mysterious. Maybe this new me should also opt for a smoky eye, wear dresses with high slits, and get side bangs. OK, I didn’t get that crazy—the most I did was grill a coworker about her bangs—but it was fun to think about.
At the end of the week, I went back to my Do Son. Familiar as it might be, there’s a reason it’s my signature scent: I absolutely love it. That said, Gucci Guilty has earned a spot on my vanity, to be taken out on special occasions. Because you never know when you might need a bit of help summoning your sexy self.